Broncos Bench Russell Wilson

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New England Patriots v Denver Broncos
DENVER, COLORADO - DECEMBER 24: Russell Wilson #3 of the Denver Broncos walks on the field after a game against the New England Patriots at Empower Field at Mile High on December 24, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Jarret Stidham will start against the Chargers and Raiders.

With two games left in the NFL season, the Denver Broncos have benched Russell Wilson. "I understand all the speculation and everything that surrounds a move like that. I can tell you -- look, we're desperately trying to win. Sure, in our game today there are economics and all those other things. But the No. 1 push behind this -- and it's a decision I'm making -- is to get a spark offensively," head coach Sean Payton said.

Wilson's benching comes after the team lost to the Patriots last weekend. It was their third loss in four games, a trend that derailed boosted playoff hopes thanks to a five-game winning streak earlier in the season. However, as Payton alluded to, there is speculation about an ulterior motive for the benching. Wilson gets an extra $37M in guaranteed money if he can't pass a physical next March. Benching him increases the odds that the Broncos will be able to save some money on the QB's hefty contract.

Jarrett Stidham In For Russell Wilson

Taking Wilson's place under center is Jarrett Stidham. Stidham signed a two-year, $10 million contract with Denver in the offseason but will be making his first start of the season this week. "Obviously it's difficult and all of us feel like, 'Man, we didn't do well enough'. But one of the things we saw when we signed Stidham in the offseason is not only film from preseason games, but regular-season games. He's a guy that I'm anxious to see play," Payton said.

After stints at Baylor and Auburn, Stidham was a fourth-round draft pick in 2019 by New England. After appearing in eight games over three seasons, he was traded to Las Vegas in 2022. There he made his first two career starts, replacing Derek Carr for the final two games of the regular season. Despite going 0-2, Stidham impressed the league, especially as he helped take the 49ers to overtime in his first start. His first start in Denver comes against the Chargers.

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About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.
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